What to Expect at IFA 2014: Phones, Tablets, & Watches
The season's biggest trade show starts next week. These are the mobile products we're looking for in Berlin.
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IFA 2014, one of the biggest tech trade shows of the year, kicks off next week in Berlin. With the holiday shopping season on the horizon, it's bound to see the release of dozens of new tablets, smartwatches, and smartphones.
Reviewed.com will be at IFA in full force, bringing you hands-on impressions straight from the show floor. But as we pack up our laptops, cameras, and tiny bottles of shampoo, we figured we'd take a moment to hash out exactly what we're expecting to see at the show.
Glass-Covered Rectangles Galore!
Smartphone announcements have stolen the show at IFA for the last couple years, and 2014 should be no different.
Samsung is widely expected to announce at least one major new phone at its annual "Unpacked" event, scheduled for September 3rd. But the Koran giant could surprise us and take the wraps off yet another variant of its flagship Galaxy S5, or even another curved OLED phone in the vein of LG's G Flex and Samsung's own Galaxy Round.
Speaking of LG, the company already unveiled its G3 Stylus, a larger version of the flagship G3. As you can probably guess, the G3 Stylus will include a pen to use with the display, much like Samsung's Note phablets.
The Korean announcements will likely be joined by two new Motorola devices. Motorola's products may or may not appear at parent company Lenovo's presser, but an invite for a Chicago-based media event seems to indicate updates for both the Moto X and the Moto G are on the way.
Huawei also appears poised to add a new smartphone to its Ascend Mate lineup, and it also sent out teasing invites inspired by the number "7," suggesting a second device. You can expect a new mid-range phone or two from HTC, though its new One (M8) flagship is only a few months old and a Windows Phone version was just released earlier this month.
Also in the mix? Microsoft could reveal some new Lumias at IFA, though nothing has been confirmed. Sony is a dark horse to steal the spotlight: A flagship phone called the Z3 has been heavily leaked ahead of the show.
A Slate for All Seasons
Though tablets may not be the main attraction at IFA 2014, there are bound to be quite a few new ones on display.
Sony could be ready to release a new 8-inch device, as one was seemingly leaked in a promo image on the company's Facebook page. The image showed a person sitting by the pool with a new Sony SmartWatch, while holding some sort of tablet.
Small French manufacturer Archos has already played its hand, unveiling two new smartphones (one running WP8.1 and one powered by Android KitKat), as well as an 8-inch and 10-inch tablets (once again, Windows 8.1 and Android 4.4, respectively).
Other manufacturers are likely to bring subtle refreshes to their tablet lineups, but IFA may be short on other major announcements.
The Next Tech Battleground Is Your Wrist
Smartwatches are all the rage these days, with Samsung, LG, and Motorola each releasing a wrist-worn device this month.
Samsung and LG got the party started early, announcing the Gear S and the G Watch R this week. We'll get hands-on time with both devices at IFA. The Tizen-powered Gear S features a 3G radio to make calls without a smartphone, while the G Watch R runs via Android Wear and is designed to compete with the Motorola Moto 360.
Motorola is holding its own event in Chicago, but the company's Moto 360 smartwatch is likely to be at IFA 2014 as well. It's already been leaked, worn in public, and covered in depth, but perhaps a release date and price could be finalized by next week.
Other smartwatch competitors are likely to include the aforementioned Sony SmartWatch and a device from Asus. The Taiwanese manufacturer announced that it was building a smartwatch at Google's I/O conference earlier this year, and chose to tease the ZenWatch ahead of the show:
Though its representatives won't officially be at IFA, Apple—long rumored to be working on a smartwatch of its own—has a press conference scheduled for September 9th in California. Expect big things, strategically dropped right in the middle of everyone else's IFA coming out parties.
Reviewed.com will have boots on the ground covering all the major announcements from IFA 2014 in Berlin next week. Check back for more about the show in the coming days.